Proverbs 21 10-21-22

We have no business trying to be good without listening to the Spirit of Christ and doing what He says.

24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25

Yesterday, we ended with, “If we love as God loves, we would never…” To finish this statement, we need to look at Exodus 20,

And God spoke all these words:
(verses 2-11 omitted)
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

The first four commandments are about our relationship to God; the last six commandments are about our relationship with each other, and it is these we are discussing today. If we love as God loves, we would never…

  • Dishonor our parents, for they are responsible for us until we are old enough to engage God personally. Having healthy boundaries is a discussion for another time.
  • Murder. By definition, murder is done with intent, either with malice of forethought or done on the spur of the moment. We are to do neither.
  • Commit adultery. This one seems obvious, but it can have many connotations. True, we must not have sex outside of marriage; we must also watch what we think, as well. Consider what Jesus said in Matthew 5:28, “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” He made it a sin of the mind. We must learn to control our minds even as we control our bodies.
  • Steal. There are two things wrong with stealing. The first thing is that we assume that we are more important than the person from whom we are stealing. We dishonor him. The second thing is that we do not trust God to meet our needs, so we take matters into our own hands to satisfy our lusts. There is simply not any way to justify stealing.
  • Bear false witness against our neighbor. This means lying. Again, we dishonor him. We tell the truth because Jesus is truth, and is the only way to the Father (John 14:6).
  • Covet…anything that belongs to your neighbor. Wanting what our neighbor has instead of him having it is coveting. It leads to stealing, which dishonors our neighbor. If our neighbor resists, we might kill him, which is murder. We may lie about what happened, and thus bear false witness against our neighbor.

Can you see how breaking one command leads to breaking another, and another, and another? We are now headed in a direction–away from God! What is the cure? Repentance: To stop, turn around and think differently than before. In order for us to do this, we need help. We need the Holy Spirit. He will heal our eyes and minds and help us to think as God thinks. We have this promise, “We have the mind of Christ” (1 Corinthians 2:16).

Abba, we need Your mind. Please teach us to access the mind of Christ within us by way of the Holy Spirit. It’s the only way that we are going to beat our old nature. Help us to put off the old self and to “put on the new self, created to be like You in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:24). Amen.

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